* Posts by ThatOne

1061 posts • joined 9 Oct 2017

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Before you buy that managed Netgear switch, be aware you may need to create a cloud account to use its full UI

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Cisco Linksys scandal

> That Netgear has chosen to do something similar to business customers is astonishing.

When Linksys/Cisco tried that in 2012 it was too early. Now, in 2020, the market is ripe: Over the last years people have progressively gotten used to be milked for their personal information. Nowadays people consider this annoying, but normal.

Just remember all the protests when Windows started to collect personal information, they have eventually died out. In peoples' minds personal information theft has become just an unfortunate side effect of modern technology.

ThatOne Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: If it is a one time deal, who cares?

> If it is a one time deal

And who said it was an one time deal? We're not talking about some mandatory registration, that wouldn't even be worth mentioning.

No, we're talking about a SaaS (Switch as a Service) model, where your switch only works as long as it can connect to the mothership to upload any bits of information Netgear's marketing thinks it can sell. And yes, they will verify your information, and most likely shut the switch down if they can't tie it to a valid purchase.

ThatOne Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Unfortunately you can, but...

> there are other managed switches on the market that offer the same/similar functionality without having to provide personal details

- Still. You forgot "still"...

Come on, we all know it, it's useless to lie, all and every company out there selling something with an electrical component will progressively add personal data collection as a mandatory feature. One can debate about the use of having your power drill collect data about you and your house, but the fact is, it will. Because it can, and because no company will ignore free money.

Let's go space truckin': 1970s probe Voyager 1 is now 14 billion miles from home

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: They don't make them like they used to...

Voyager is the worst marketing nightmare: With some careful engineering, they could had built it way cheaper for the same selling price, and sold NASA about 50 Voyager replacements since. Okay, to sweeten the deal, with some minor groundbreaking improvements, like making it thinner and removing the antenna (wireless antenna option sold separately). At least they got the irremovable battery part right.

Did this airliner land in the North Sea? No. So what happened? El Reg probes flight tracker site oddity

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

> Masquerading military flights as civilian makes this even more likely.

Win - win. That way you also get to accuse "the bad guys" of wantonly slaughtering innocent women and children!

Remember, your competitors' bad reputation is something you have to build up yourself, stone by stone.

As we stand on the precipice of science fiction into science fact, people say: Hell yeah, I want to augment my eyesight!

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: On second thoughts...

> fit each politician on standing for office with a nose that extends when they lie

Also that nose production would vastly improve GDP!

Samsung shaves 0.1μm off pixels to make new ISOCELL sensor lineup 15% slimmer

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

> Doesn't matter if the camera is worse

Indeed, it doesn't matter. What will it be used anyway?

Taking pictures of your "hip" food to post on "Social" media...

NASA is sending two small hand-luggage suitcase-sized spacecraft into the void to study binary asteroids

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: Small hand luggage = 180 Kg?

> I wouldn't want one of those in the overhead compartment above my seat

From my (limited I admit) experience, it's a common weight for hand luggage on planes...

Desperately seeking regolith: NASA seeks proposals for collecting Moon dirt

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Confused

> I took the trouble of shaping it into a moon-like shape

Indeed, that's what troubles me too: What could possibly be the point? The technically challenging part is usually bringing stuff back, not scooping it up in the first place.

Given the quantity asked for, the best option is simply to shoot an open empty steel box violently against the lunar surface, in the hope some of the dirt will land inside. "Here you go, what's inside is yours. Pay up!"

Google Chrome calculates your autoplay settings so you don't have to - others disagree

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Not a chance

> every time — because some web sites

If some sites do it, I'll just have to avoid those. I'm pretty confident most sites won't jump through hoops to shove some video down peoples' throats. Why would (for instance) some honest online shop want to force-feed you a video? They're selling stuff, you're clearly there to buy stuff, so their best bet is to leave you do it.

The only people likely to feel tempted to do so are marketing people, so blocking anything ad-related will IMHO take care of the problem.

ThatOne Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Not a chance

> you'll end up downloading a 10 MB GIF animation

Any website doing this to me won't do it twice.

Why would I want to have any interaction with a site who's owners show that clearly they're unscrupulous greedy scum?

I won't be ignored: Google to banish caller roulette with Verified Calls

ThatOne Silver badge

Actually

> "If it isn't in my phonebook then it's probably spam."

If it isn't in my phonebook, it's certainly spam.

The only people supposed to know my private phone number are those I chose to give it to.

ThatOne Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: "if a user sees the business's name then they are more likely to actually take the call"

> Not even a hospital you've never visited

-A hospital which has bought Google Ads, and is paying for "Verified Calls"? My, hell has frozen over.

Entertainment-productivity mashups, lockdown tablets and 5G on the desktop: Tech show shakes stylus at post-COVID world

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: €900 for a hob

> what is the point of a smart hob

Hey, hey, you're questioning the very utility of IoT here! Stop, you're about to destroy human civilization!

Zero. Zilch. Nada. That's how many signs of intelligent life astroboffins found in probe of TEN MILLION stars

ThatOne Silver badge
FAIL

Looking for signs of McDonald's on other planets?

Why do they assume those "aliens" civilizations would necessarily be exactly like 20th century humans' one was?

The "solar panel" thing is utterly stupid, about the same level as looking for "blockchain" (because "intelligent life" is bound to use it!)...

A single century ago there were no solar panels on Earth, and by the end of the 21st century we might have switched to something we don't even imagine yet, much like people in the wood/coal ages didn't expect electricity. So, even if that alien civilization is totally human-like and goes through the exact same technological evolution (very unlikely), why would they be in the "solar panel" phase just now? They could be still using steam engines, or have mastered fusion. Or their planet might have enough geothermic potential and/or a weather so unfriendly solar panels never were a serious option. Or, more likely, they have followed a technology path we don't understand at all.

In short, their message is rather "we didn't found any trace of Golden Arches in the star systems we scanned"... Which is fortunate and means nothing at the same time.

AI in the enterprise: AI may as well stand for automatic idiot – but that doesn't mean all machine learning is bad

ThatOne Silver badge
Terminator

AI does not exist

Except maybe in some lab.

Beyond that, "AI" is just a marketing buzzword for computer code making decisions according to a simple "IF...THEN" condition. Even in complicated cases like driving a car there is no "intelligence" whatsoever, and the only difficulty is deciding if the "IF" condition is (or not) met in our non-digital, fuzzy environment (It's way easier to determine if 2 = 3, than to know if that vague blob of pixels is a pedestrian or just a painting on some wall).

Marketing has always tried to call a nag a purebred, and in this case it's not even a nag, just a wooden horse. Yet, because we have all grown up with SciFi movies full of talking computers displaying character and initiative, we are all tempted to believe those claims. Sorry people, "those are not the Droids you're looking for."

Salon told to change ad looking for 'happy' stylist because it 'discriminated against unhappy people'

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: "developers, developers developers"?

> unrealistically upbeat people

Yeah, that's different, I hate those too, who doesn't.

I was just talking about people who under casual inspection might look like they aren't too much annoyed by our arrival in their shop. And might even leave us with a nagging suspicion they might not be overly annoyed to have to accept our money. You know, people who don't accuse the customer for being stuck in a menial job they deem way beneath them.

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: "developers, developers developers"?

> something that [...] isn't required to do the job

I don't agree. Hair salons are plenty around where I live and, having the choice, I tend to chose the salon with the nicest staff, it's always nice to be greeted and served with a smile.

Nobody likes brooding people (unless they're famous artists).

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: "developers, developers developers"?

Came here to say the same thing: Won't anybody do something about that hair saloon discriminating against people who don't know how to cut hair? Won't anybody think of the children?...

COVID-19 tracing without an app? There's an iOS and Android update for that

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Wifi sniffing

> they put people onto respirators for > 20 days that was very, very lucrative

That might be indeed, but I still don't see how an old person brought in because of a stroke and dying from it, can all of a sudden allow you to claim ">20 days" of respirator insurance pay. This is so lacking the most basic credibility you would be shut down quite quickly.

"Yes, all records show the deceased was brought here yesterday evening, but actually he's been already here for two weeks, using a respirator the records show somebody else was already using. I know it seems hard to believe, but you have to trust me, I'm not trying to scam you, no, no."

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Wifi sniffing

> If you know anything about how hospitals are paid in some countries, you'd know that it's certainly possible, because many hospitals are run as for-profit businesses.

"Possible" it might be, but I still don't understand how. Yes, for-profit hospitals, obviously, else there wouldn't be any profits to talk about. Still, how can hospitals' profits depend on patient death cause? Is there a "Covid Bounty" for letting people die of Covid (as opposed to other causes)?

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Innocent information gathering

> on the basis that the Apple/Google tech makes it harder for their manual contact-tracers to access information

"On the basis that the Apple/Google tech makes it harder for their Intelligence agencies to access information".

Here, fixed it for you.

ThatOne Silver badge
WTF?

Re: Wifi sniffing

> inflated by healthcare providers to earn more money by falsely stating cause of death as Corona

How would they earn more money for Covid deaths, as opposed to deaths from other causes???

Astronomers get more than they bargained for, as Mars probe InSight's instruments detects solar eclipses

ThatOne Silver badge
Mushroom

Mars colonies

> is expected to come crashing down on the planet’s surface in 30 to 50 million years time

Bad news for those who expect to install long-term colonies on Mars...

Now obviously somebody will say that humanity is very unlikely to be still around in even a single million years (and if it is, it will be blobs of fatty flesh, perma-plugged into fast-food and instant gratification entertainment, unwilling and unable to think or act).

What price security? Well, for the US ban on Huawei/ZTE kit it's around $1.8bn, and you're going to pay most of it

ThatOne Silver badge
Unhappy

You're going to pay most of it

> and you're going to pay most of it

Don't we always...

Surprise! Voting app maker roasted by computer boffins for poor security now begs US courts to limit flaw finding

ThatOne Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Voatz meet the Streisand Effect.

Indeed, whatever a company says or does is god-given law, and should be accepted and respected without questioning, period!

Google declares Maps COVID-19-ready after retraining it on pandemic traffic – or the lack of it in some areas

ThatOne Silver badge

> I can see why they'd outsource the learning to machines

How can machines guess the school starting and closing times at [Far, Far Away]? It's still knowledge you either have or not.

Anyway, reading the statements of the Googlers I understand they just look at the traffic flow in the past weeks, average it, and forecast the future situation from that data (that's the "AI" part). Of course reducing the sampling window that much will yield some interesting artifacts around big, several days-long events (big holidays and such)...

Anyone else noticed that the top countries for broadband speeds are well-known tax havens? No? Just us then?

ThatOne Silver badge

> they will likely only be measuring people who actually have Internet

Well, when the question is "What is your internet speed", then obviously there is no point in asking those who don't have any internet access. Much like "What's your children's age" doesn't really concern those without any children. Average children age won't get younger because many people don't have any...

Sounds like the black helicopters have come for us. Oh, just another swarm of FAA-approved Amazon delivery drones

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: 30 min delivery!

> Plenty of scope for this in and around train stations

I know that "new and shiny" trumps, but wouldn't a quaint vending machine make more sense in this case? Why would you want to wait 30 minutes for a drone to come when a 2 minutes walk can give you those item(s) you needed?

(And that's before even thinking of the technical problems: Big city train stations are mostly covered (often even underground), crowded, and the biggest entries are barred by high-tension overhead wires. Not the easiest place for a huge self-driving drone to find its way in and back out.)

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: I take great comfort in the fact ..

> shooting

Remember, by some incredible coincidence the government has just reminded people that drones are not to be shot (El Reg article)...

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: 30 min delivery!

> Then there are issues as raised in the Aussie trial

As the Aussie trial already showed, those issues are filed as "not relevant". Where there is a will (and money to be made), there is a way.

Never forget you aren't the customer, which means you don't have a say in the matter of how you will be monetized.

As for the delivery times, well, this system only works in very specific places and conditions anyway, you can't deliver by drone to high rises for instance. So I guess it will be only rolled out to select, high-visibility places, just to create a buzz (pun intended). Given the high investment and operating costs, I don't think delivering nachos or toilet paper by drone can yield any profit.

What rhymes with 'boom' and is veritably raking it in thanks to the coronavirus pandemic?

ThatOne Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Not that uncertain

> Where would any further growth come from?

It's like the smartphone and tablet market, which was expected to grow indefinitely (I guess till the layer of smartphones on the earth's surface grows beyond the atmosphere and people start dying).

Remember the big panic when the sales started to stagnate? "OMG! We sold less units than last year, let's rise the prices!"

You Musk be joking: A mind-reading Neuralink chip in a pig's brain? Downloadable memories? Telepathy? Watch and judge for yourself

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: A giant leap for musk-kind?

> memories are intimately tied to that. They would be meaningless in the absence of the body they were created in

Why, intelligence, knowledge and experience are body-independent. I think Stephen Hawking is a good example: Being a theoretical physicist, his failing body didn't affect his professional capacities; It would of course had been very different had he been a concert violinist or a quarterback.

While motor skills and such are tied to local muscle memory, abstract know-how is body-independent. Transplanted to a new body you wouldn't be able to play the violin anymore, but you would still know how it's supposed to be done.

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: In brain ads...

Obviously your sleep is the best time for ads ("Sponsored Dreams™").

Unlike when driving or performing heart surgery, you can't possibly argue they'd distract you from something more important.

ThatOne Silver badge
Coat

And better check your temperature! A good fever and you could go all Note 7!

ThatOne Silver badge

Well, unlike upvoting, which is a sign of agreement (like applause), downvoting is just gratuitous revenge. Why? Agreement doesn't need any explanation, while disagreement normally calls for one: Which specific point do you disagree with, and what is actually your own opinion on that point?

Simply downvoting is like giving somebody the finger from the relative security of your car, in this case with the added perk of total anonymity: Gratuitous and cowardly. If you have something to say, please do so.

As for Jake, he is often a little too outspoken and abrupt (like me, actually), which apparently has pushed some fragile ego over the limit. Oh well, Internet fights... *rolls eyes*

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: OK, so we can extract thoughts or perceptions from an animal...

> hacked my friend's cochlear implant

Even if your friend is some big "influencer" it would be kind of pointless. Why bother?

What is much more interesting is hacking the whole population, which will be possible if this system allows to gain advantages (like physical & mental improvements) without too many drawbacks (like looking like Frankenstein's monster). It will eventually become a must-have (think smartphones) to everyone except a few Luddites.

Also, hacking cochlear implants (let's assume everybody had one), would only allow you to whisper in the ear of people, which is kind of conspicuous. Hacking a direct interface to the brain is much more discreet and would allow you to directly attack the basis of decision-making: "I clearly remember that politician raping that baby before eating it alive! I know it's true!"

ThatOne Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: OK, so we can extract thoughts or perceptions from an animal...

> They fall under 'society and culture'

Now you really depressed me...

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: So pigs are like people?

> Thoughts extracted from pigs: Food, sex, sleep, repeat

Actually that is valid for about any animal out there, including of course humans. Pigs are in no way special (they just taste better).

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: Oink!

> imagine being hard wired to FB or Amazon

And indeed you will - Google/Amazon/FB will offer you the neuronal interface for free, an offer you will gladly take to be able to enjoy those new mind sex tapes ("Be part of the action!").

And then you will be analyzed, prepared and sold as part of a human botnet: "I need 800000 voters in region X", "I need a 12% increase in sales before the shareholder meeting next month", and so on.

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: OK, so we can extract thoughts or perceptions from an animal...

> by traumatic brain injuries, degenerative diseases, brain tumours

You forgot Facebook and Twitter... :-p

.

> Giving doctors more tools to *restore* freedom of thought

Sorry to rain on your parade, but chances are it will mostly be used by spin doctors to "restore" opinions to what they should be.

Since the stone age people have sought to reliably influence other people for their own profit. Which means that if this technology indeed manages one day to read/write in our memory and mood system, "free will" will become a mere joke.

The brain makes us what we are, and our respective memories (also known as "upbringing" and "experience") are what makes each individual unique. If you change those, you change the individual.

While the medical uses of this technology are obvious and utterly beneficial, let's just hope the memory coding is way beyond our capacity to efficient interface with.

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: Optimistically...

> Oh the possibilities...

Actually it will be just used to stream ads directly into your brain...

Brave takes brave stand against Google's plan to turn websites into ad-blocker-thwarting Web Bundles

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: Advertising companies not thrilled with people being able to block their ads

> criminals being less than thrilled by padlocks and burglar alarms

With the difference that criminals don't have the same lobbying power. With enough lobbying power your personal problem, whatever it is, easily becomes a Just Cause in the supreme interest of the nation...

ThatOne Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: unlike the worlds freeloaders

> anti rape device [...] is quite cheap

Still, cheap or expensive, my point is you shouldn't have to use one.

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: Time for governments to act

> pass a law requiring all Internet-delivered content to be cleanly separable into editorial and advertising

Sorry to be pessimistic, but it's way more likely they'll pass a law preventing ad blocking. After all it's Google/Facebook who pays their election and gives them cushy retirement jobs afterwards. How many millions have you donated?...

The only thing that prevents this is that senior politicians are utterly clueless and don't even understand what we're talking about: They have an assistant to do their internetting.

Worried about the Andromeda galaxy crashing into our Milky Way in four billion years? Too bad, it's quite possibly already happening

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Which is bigger - Andromeda or the Milky Way?

Insurance will decide.

'My wife tried to order some clothes tonight. When she logged in, she was in someone else's account ... Now someone's charged her card'

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Credit card? What credit card?

> the details are allways retained and any amendment to that order done 24 hrs before delivery slot just requires the 3 digit CSV

I expect that would be the payment processor, not the shop front itself, and I expect the payment processor to be less prone to stupid coding blunders (I said "less"!) than the shiny cool web storefront itself.

Which means that if the web store tries to place a new, fake order, it won't know which credit card to associate it with, and thus that order won't pass the tests and won't even reach the payment processor.

I admit this is based solely on my non-existing knowledge of how things work.

What would you prefer: Satellite-streamed cat GIFs – or a decent early warning of an asteroid apocalypse?

ThatOne Silver badge
FAIL

Re: I've not managed to find a balanced opinion on ...

That's utterly fallacious. It's even a textbook direct "ad hominem" attack!

Nobody said "they don't deserve" anything, we just say the price is too high for what it is.

To put it in simple terms: Internet yes, but not by sacrificing astronomy. Not if there is some other solution (Hint: There is.).

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Balance

> the poorer areas of the world

Let's for starters define what you mean by "the poorer areas of the world". There is a huge difference if we're speaking about some backwater area of the USA, or some drought and war struck area in Africa (for instance).

Internet would benefit to the former, but definitely not to the latter, they simply don't have the first-world problems we have, and in such areas any computer would have a snowflake-in-hell life expectancy anyway. Most likely they would be stolen by the local warlord the very next day and sold for weapons and ammunition, at best they will die some weeks later when the sand and dirt clogs the vents, or simply when (not if) the generator breaks down, is stolen or sold for money.

What those people over there really need is peace (absence of war), clean water and enough food. Internet satellites don't deliver any of those, which is why I'm pretty sure the "Think of the children" excuse is just an outright lie.

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Asteroid hunting doesn’t use the same type of ‘scope

> less urgent, purely scientific astronomy [...] space or lunar based observations will eventually surpass any earth based telescopes, be this in fifty or years or a hundred

Yes, tell that to the new astronomers fresh out of college! "Sorry guys, you're born 50 years too early, we don't expect any serious research to be possible before some commercial entity decides there is money to be made on the moon and starts building bases we can use."

As for space-based optical telescopes, if they were that easy and painless to send up there, why do we only have the (fairly old now) Hubble up there? Why haven't we sent a dozen or more of those up, if they are so cheap and simple to build?

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